I reported on a banquet for a local newspaper last week, and the article is a "Just the facts, ma'am" sort of thing. I couldn't include any of the fun stuff, but like the old lady who comes to the dinner with foil in her purse, I saved it all for you.
*The banquet was a fundraiser for a civil rights org. I once worked for that org and when someone asked me why I do not anymore, my response was, "Why indeed."
*It has been a while since I have been to such an event. I left those middle-class trappings behind to freelance, but it was all very familiar.
*There was a man holding his fist in the air during the Negro National Anthem. I have never seen anyone take this particular stance during that song, but it works.
*I saw several people munching on trays of nachos before the banquet started. I was not sure where they got them since I saw no concession stands.
*The table where I sat was only half full, but all the ranch dressing was gone before I could get any. We had globe-shaped butter pats on the table yet received no rolls. But who am I to criticize a free meal?
Desserts were already left at each place setting, so I had something to eat while I waited for dinner.
*The MC had to introduce and read a bio for the man who was to introduce the speaker. (Did you get that?) He said, " I will keep this intro short; it won't be as long as the introduction I had."
*A politician walk past me, smiled and said hello when he saw me in the hallway. The people at the registration table complained that he did not speak to them. Too bad since they are his constituents, while I do not live in his district.
*These friendly relations were short-lived, however. Later when I told him I was with a paper and asked him a question, he frowned and (jokingly?) refused to comment. (The pen is mightier than the sword, see how they tremble.) He gave me a comment and then wagged his finger at me threateningly saying he was going to read the article.
*I'm a little frightened now.
*As they took away the uneaten salads and desserts, I wondered if they would be re-used...and how soon.
*The real story of the night was that an incumbent politician (and rival of He Who Wagged His Finger) was on the program and did not show up at all. He Who Wagged will be running against the No Show in an upcoming election. But HWW was there to pose for photos and pass put pictures. HWW sat in NS's empty seat on the dais and presented the award that NS was supposed to present.
*The woman next to me saw me scribbling and asked if I was doing a report for school. I told her it was for a local paper and she said, "Oh! I thought you were a teenager!" Woe is me with these youthful good looks ;-) No wonder no one takes me seriously.
My first free $75 a plate dinner. May there be many more.